In case you forgot, last Sunday was Father's Day. And at church, as usual, the under-12 kids sang a song or two to honor their dad. Our group of youth is slowly dwindling, I counted thirteen kids singing. But they sang great and loud enough for us to hear way in the back. When they were excused it took Baby an unusually long time to reach our seats. I didn't know what took so long until I talked to a friend today.
My friend's family had been gone for the last three weeks and Middle Child had taken care of their cat and mowed the yard. After he left for Scout Camp, Baby filled in. And Baby expected payment. As he was running off the stage he spotted my friend's husband and children. He stopped mid-step, almost fell over, stepped backwards, and pointed accusingly at them.
"You're back!" he practically shouted in the middle of our mostly older, quiet, reverent congregation. "You owe me a couple bucks! I took care of your cat!" And then he sidled over to them in expectation of payment.
The poor husband was trying his best not to laugh, not to draw more attention to themselves, to shush Baby, and to get him back to his seat quietly. "We'll get you your money. We haven't forgotten you."
That must have been enough to console Baby for the day. He took off again, pounding his feet all the way down the aisle, around the corner, and down the gym floor aisle to our seats. Quiet is not part of my boys' abilities. They can do plenty of other things, but Quiet is not one of them.
By the time he reached us I was trying my darnedest not to laugh and not to be embarrassed. He was running through church! Again! And as he sat down I tried to tell him not to run through church (again!).
Not very quietly he replied, "I was just coming back to my seat," as if I accused him of a crime for which he was not guilty. And I was, the crime was the inability to be Quiet. I've almost given up, but I keep trying for some reason. One of these days the reminder may actually sink in. Probably when he has little boys of his own.
Apparently, this afternoon Baby went to my friend's house. He knocked on the door and demanded payment, again. The husband laughed and told Baby he had given the money to me. "But I haven't seen it!" He just laughed some more and told him to ask his mommy for the money. Tonight I paid Baby his two dollars.
Next week we're renting Better Off Dead and letting Baby see what happens when you're too persistent in demanding payment. It's a cult classic. For my generation.